As we age, we can at times find ourselves in situations that put us in peril. Even the savviest, most independent of us can fall prey to any numbers of risks – from a physical injury, to a mental decline, a shady new acquaintance or a seasoned scam artist. While most people can safely navigate these pitfalls, some older adults need a helping hand to stay safe when these situations arise.
With DSAS’ Adult Protective Services (APS) unit, older adults and adults with disabilities in Cuyahoga County have someone on their side to ensure they can live safely and independently. Our APS team is out in the community daily investigating allegations of abuse, working with our partners to identify scams, training the public on reporting abuse, and assisting clients with personal safety plans. In 2021, APS helped 2,402 clients move from risk to safety, one of our highest caseloads ever.
Angela Murphy found her father, Stanley, in a troubling situation last year. He was being neglected, and his health was suffering. Angela met DSAS’ Adult Protective Service supervisor, Tanjulla Tyson-Wearren, and knew she had found the help she needed to rescue her father. “I was told that Tanjulla was a part of Adult Protective Services. I immediately reached out to her and asked for help, because there was a neglect situation going on with my dad,” Angela explained. “From there, she was my number one guide. She was with me from the beginning to the end.”
Stanley was in a long-time relationship with a female friend and was estranged from his family as a result. One day, the friend “threw him out” of a car at his brother’s home. His family found him in poor medical condition and took him to the hospital for care. DSAS’ Adult Protective Services (APS) team got involved to help Angela become guardian of her father and assist with a plan to keep him safe and cared for. Our team advised the family on the best environment for Stanley, while providing emergency funds to cover probate court guardianship fees and supporting the family through the guardianship process. Angela changed her housing situation to better care for her father, and APS was able to help pay for the first month’s rent. Today, Angela is her father’s legal guardian, and he is thriving in his new home.
“Adult Protective Services really impressed me with their dedication, support, expediency and care, all done with a touch of love,” she proclaims.
DSAS is here now -- and will be there until the end -- supporting, caring for and protecting our friends and neighbors as they age.
Click here if you would like to learn more about DSAS’ Adult Protective Services. We are available 24-hours a day through our Centralized Intake Line at 216-420-6700. Call us anytime to make a report of an older adult whom you suspect is being abused, neglected or living in an unsafe situation.